AMNICON & COVID-19
FREQUENTLY ASKED QUESTIONS
WHAT ARE YOU UP TO AT AMNICON THESE DAYS?
We are watching and listening to the awakening spring – the snow is gone, the river is opening, the mud
is ever present, the waves on the lake are crashing, and the birds are singing songs of gratitude. While
we are enjoying the peaceful solitude of our corner of the wilderness, we are missing the folks that
would have been spending their time at camp these days. We have had to cancel several weekend
Lodge retreats this spring and other guests have been unable to spend time at camp.
Our Hermitage cabins are still open for guests coming from the local area (we are discouraging folks
from outside the Twin Ports from coming), as we can provide this opportunity within the guidelines for
proper social distancing and as both hotel/motel services and outdoor recreation are considered
essential activities during Wisconsin’s Safer at Home requirements.
During this sabbatical from on-site guests, we are spending our time planning, preparing, dreaming, and
scheming so we are ready to provide impactful wilderness experiences when we can begin to serve the
Amnicon community on our site once again. We are continually asking the question “How is Amnicon
going to come out of this crisis stronger than we were when it started?” While the concrete answers
each and every day, we know that the biggest answer to this question is that we must fulfill our mission
this year in creative and strategic ways.
Most importantly during this time, we are thinking and praying for you – the volunteers, donors, campers,
alumni, families, ministry leaders, retreaters, hermits, and adventure seekers that make up the Amnicon
community. Peace be with you.
WHEN WILL AMNICON BE BACK UP AND RUNNING?
Wouldn’t we like to know! We are following and listening to guidelines and directives from both
Minnesota and Wisconsin’s stay-at-home requirements, as well as from the CDC and the American
Camping Association. We will be able to welcome guests and groups when we can do so in a way that
meet these guidelines and when we can create a safe environment for our guests and staff. We will also
be in conversation with local health officials from Douglas County to ensure they are comfortable with
groups coming into the local community from the Twin Cities and beyond.
WHAT WILL ADVENTURE TRIPS AND PROGRAMMING LOOK LIKE THIS SUMMER?
There are currently too many unknowns to be able to answer this with certainty, but we have accepted
the reality that it will unlikely be a “normal” summer at Amnicon. This could mean that we can’t so any
trips until later in the summer, that we have to limit the amount people on site at once and take extra
steps to make sure groups stay separate from each other, or it could mean that we are unable to host
any groups or guests all summer.
It could also mean that have the opportunities to provide some exciting new opportunities for adventure!
We are currently imagining what these opportunities might be with the desire to be helping families and
congregations experience adventure, even if in just some small ways, this summer.
We are not canceling or making any firm changes in plans yet, and we won’t be for a while. We will be
attentive to recommendations as our response to the virus progresses and will make these decisions
when we feel it is time.
WHAT IF I’M REGISTERED FOR A TRIP OR HAVE RESERVED SPACE FOR A RETREAT AT WE CAN’T COME?
Please be assured that any trips or retreats that are canceled or if any participants or guests don’t feel
comfortable coming to Amnicon because of COVID-19 concerns you will have the option to have your
deposit and any additional money you’ve paid refunded in full, no questions asked. While we recognize
that many organizations, congregations, and families have been financially impacted during this time,
Amnicon has been as well. We will invite you, if you are able, to consider applying your deposit to a
future trip or retreat or donating it to our ministry.
WHAT ABOUT THE SUMMER STAFF?
Plain and simple, we believe the summer staff – the dozen or so wilderness guides and in-base staff we
hire – are the heart and soul of the Amnicon community. The Amnicon Board of Directors has committed
to hiring our summer staff this summer, regardless of whether or not we will be able to offer any
adventure trips or experiences. We feel that even if our only work this summer is to invest into the lives
of about a dozen young adults for their personal growth and leadership development, we will have
fulfilled our mission this summer.
Committing to hiring our summer staff also means we have more flexibility in the program and
adventure opportunities we are able to provide this summer, and will allow us to get closer to the
summer to make these decisions. Again, we will only be bringing our summer staff onsite if it falls within
guidelines of federal, state, and local health officials.
WHAT ABOUT THE MAY VOLUNTEER WORK WEEKEND?
Given that the Wisconsin Safer-at-Home order has been extended through May 26, we are unfortunately
forced to cancel our May Work Weekend.
WILL THERE BE OTHER VOLUNTEER OPPORTUNITIES THIS SPRING/SUMMER?
We hope so! We’ve got some exiting plans and projects for this spring and summer, including two big
ones: the construction of a new gathering pavilion near our main site which will hold a large solar panel
array on its roof, as well as the re-siding of Alleluia Lodge. Both of these projects, along with many other
smaller projects and tasks, will rely on volunteer labor.